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Cellphone use an increasing factor in car accidents nationwide

Cellphones are consistently cited as distracting dangers to drivers, especially to young drivers who many believe are constantly attached to their phones — too attached, even, to pay full attention to important circumstances like the road in front of them, which could result in a serious car accident. New York drivers and parents may be interested to know, then, that among distracted driving deaths, teenage girls are at a particularly high risk.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found in a recent survey that newly licensed teenage female drivers are about twice as likely to use cellphones and electronic devices while they drive as teenage boys. This is particularly concerning when teenage drivers in general are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents due to their lower level of driving experience.

Regardless of age, though, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that 3,000 highway deaths in 2010 were attributable to distracted driving. While New York currently has a state law that bans the use of cellphones while driving, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended expanding the ban to all electronic devices — handheld or not.

Drivers have a responsibility to be completely alert and aware of their surroundings when they are driving on roads in New York and anywhere else. While cellphones have certainly become a reality of everyday life, it’s important that drivers recognize that using them while operating a vehicle can put themselves and others who are on the road in serious danger.

Source: Forbes, “Distracted Driving Kills; Teenage Girls Are Especially At Risk, AAA Says,” Jim Henry, March 28, 2012